An exclusive tour in the area of Avignon, the Luberon and the Côte d’Azur, a fascinating land with unique gardens. Avignon, with its famous Papal Palace, the old town center, Saint André’s Abbey and its old Provencal garden is a must see. The tour also includes Pertuis, for the splendid Val Joanis, as well as worldwide renowned botanical gardens. Among them, the Alchemist’s garden stands out, with its magical plants, work of Arnaud Murières and other talented French landscape architects. To round off this experience, we also visit the suggestive and unique Pierre Bergé’s garden in Saint-Rémy de Provence. All of this makes the trip one of a kind.
Arrival in Avignon during the day. Check in to Hôtel Le Cloître Saint Louis and guided tour of the city. Dinner in hotel.
Breakfast in hotel.
Departure for St Remy de Provence. Visit to the splendid and exclusive garden belonging to Pierre Bergè. It was created and followed by one of the best landscape architects of France. Mr. Michel Semini, will exceptionally welcome the group and will lead the visit of the garden.
Departure for Pertuis and visit to the beautiful estate of Val Joanis. The gardens have received the label “jardin remarquable” given by the National Council of Parks and Gardens of France. Visit to the cellars and the large garden divided into terraces.
Aperitif and lunch in this beautiful estate.
Later on, we visit “La Louve” garden located in Bonnieux, ( 29 km form Pertuis), considered among the most interesting and well-designed private gardens of the area. This is a work of Mme De Vesian (she was Hermes’ designer , and later become a wonderful landscape designer), who bought the estate in 1986 and transformed it into a complicated work, a symbiosis between stone and Mediterranean wood, a concept that changed the idea of the traditional garden in Provence.
The garden offers numerous spaces in a succession of terraces, where in a particular space a harmonious connection has been created with the pool of the estate. In addition to the age-old plants, we also enjoy the beautyof wonderful shrubs.
Afterwards, tour of Lourmarin village, and its dominant castle. Nice walk in the village ,and return to Avignon. Dinner in hotel.
Breakfast in hotel. Transfer by bus and visit to the popular Senanques Abbey, one of the three Cistercians sisters located in the village. Founded in 1148 by the monks who had left the Mazan Abbey (in Vivarais),it reached its splendor between XIII-XIV century. The Waldensian rebels in 1544 hung some monks and destroyed a few buildings. The abandonment by the Monks occurred during the French Revolution, but in 1854,Dom Barnouin bought and restored the Abbey. At 10.45 transferred to Gordes considered one of the most beautiful villages of France. The church and the castle dominate the beautiful landscape of Luberon Range Mountain. Next is Roussilon, location that became famous thanks to an Entrepreneur who discovered the colorants properties of ochre. Here he established the first factory for its production. We may have lunch in a typical restaurant in this picturesque village. In the afternoon, walk through the village Rustrel nicknamed “the Provence Colorado”, because of its red color that reminds of the American Canyons. Departure for Simiane-la-Rotonde to visit Valsaintes Abbey’s rose garden in Boulinette. It is the forth Cistercian abbey of Provence, daughter of Sylvacane and sister of Senanque, where is located the superb park. Since1996 more than 600 ancient and classic roses’ varieties have been planted, as well as numerous trees and shrubs,and this resulted in a delicious ensemble of colors, shapes and scents. For many year the park enriched with numerous perfumed essences such as cedars, pines, and birch is being looked after by the Botanist Jean-Yves Meignen. Return to the hotel. Dinner in a selected restaurant in Avignon.
Breakfast in hotel.
In the afternoon, visit to the fascinating Alchemist garden in Eygalieres, located near an authentic Alchemist’s dwelling of XVI century. It is an unusual itinerary. Afterwards transfer to Les Baux de Provence. This extraordinary complex dominates the Crau Plain, and is built on the calcareous spur of Alpilles mountains. It features a castle dismantled by Richelieu in 1632, the ruins of caveman’s houses and ancient settlements. Return to the hotel and dinner.
Breakfast in hotel and check out. Today our first place is Opio to visit the private garden “La Casella” owned by M Scheinert et M Parr located in this part of the Alps. It is considered without doubts the most original part of the Provence territory. Transfer to Saint Cap de Ferrat, where the magnificent palace built at the behest of BaronessEphrussi de Rothschild in the Belle Époque, falls sheer into the Mediterranean Sea, surrounded by seven unique gardens. In this luxurious dwelling, rich in priceless works of art, the presence of the woman who would probably have been one of the most originals in the Riviera, is still lingering. Light lunch in the cafeteria of the villa and guided tour of l’etage des collections and villa. Time for a walk in theVilla Ephrussy’s gardens. End of the tour.